The trumpeter Kate Hamann began drawing attention to her prodigious gifts as a teenager when she was a student at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Not long after – and still incredibly young she has already added celebrated artists such as Dafnis Prieto, Dave Liebman and Maria Schneider to her performance credentials. Her debut album Momentary Beauty is an appropriately overwhelming experience on which her musicality shines like a polished gem.
The songs on the album draw on the romance of life, experienced in the prime of youth. As in life so also in music Miss Hamann seems to trust her instincts with resolute maturity – resolute in the knowledge every dark cloud comes with a silver lining, just as in every sorrow is much more than a glimpse of joy. This is marvellously reflected in the music that Miss Hamann plays with resolute agility that enables her to clearly reflect changes in mood and emotion, with a range of touch and temperament that establishes immediate trust in her artistry as a composer and as a gifted instrumentalist.
This is a relatively short album – just eight songs and coming in at just over half an hour but establishing her nobility as a trumpeter nonetheless. Miss Hamann deserves enormous credit for perfectly shaping each piece to the nuances and dynamics of her instruments – trumpet and flugelhorn – to which she also adds a lustrous voice, all of which goes to show that she is indeed a nearly fully-formed artist. Certainly she is in the top tier of her tribe and she shows her chops no sooner than she plays the first chorus of Butterflies.
This music is both tonal and modal but with a lot of chord sequences that shift gear up and down a semitone and quartertone. This may be easy enough on a piano but exceedingly difficult to execute on a horn that demands consistently perfect embouchure, something the trumpet can deny even the most wizened performers.
As young trumpeters go Miss Hamann performs with remarkable and crystal-clear articulation announcing her arrival not only with the opening number, but blossoms out in the Daydream sequence and gradually building up to the lofty apogee of the album with is Momentary Beauty. The latter also shows Miss Hamann to be a thoughtful composer and a wonderfully vivid painter of tone-textures on her chosen instrument.
How lucky are the musicians who accompany Kate Hamann on her maiden full-length voyage as leader; to share in in her musical gifts. How lucky we are to hear this exceptional new artistic voice and to dwell in the thrall of her wonderful music.
Tracks – 1: Butterflies; 2: What Love Could Be; 3: Daydream; 4: Daydream [reprise]; 5: Stepping Stones; 6: Cherish You; 7: Momentary Beauty; 8: Songs We Used to Sing
Musicians – Kate Hamann: trumpet 1, 2, 6], flugelhorn [3 – 5, 7] and vocals [2, 5, 7, 8]; Jason Arkins: alto saxophone [1, 3, 4] and tenor saxophone [2, 5 – 7]; Diego Melgar: guitar; Angel Perez: piano; Mike Ramos: bass; Max Marsillo: drums
Released – 2022
Label – Independent
Runtime – 38:24